Almost two weeks ago Sunday I saw a Santa Barbara News Press front page headline that read; “Taxpayers on hook for shortages in pension system. Growing benefits plus weak economy leave public pensions short.” You must remember that the headline blaming a week economy was used prior to last weeks announcement by CalPers. In their press release they showed that for the most recent one year, earnings were estimated to be at 20.7% WOW!
“ SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today reported a 20.7 percent return on investments in preliminary estimates for the one-year period that ended June 30, 2011. “This is our best annual performance in 14 years,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board President. “For the second straight fiscal year, the Pension Fund exceeded its long-term annualized earnings target of 7.75 percent.”The net-of-fees performance was the strongest since the 20.1 percent return of 1997 and the highest since the 2007-09 recession.”
As I have done in the past years I began to wonder where was the Santa Barbara County Employees Retirement Systems (SBCERS) estimated 1 year return announcement? I share this because I distinctly remember that last years announcement came months after CalPers. An as It turned out the SBCERS fund netted a return of 14.4 % for that year not to shabby I thought. So I performed some very minimal research today and you will not believe what I was able to find!
The SBCERS fund also had an outstanding year actually out performing the year CalPers had just experienced! Our SBCERS pension fund earned a whopping 21.7% a full 1% greater than that of CalPers and yet not a peep from our local elected officials or the media. I wonder if the President is to blame for the poor turn around as well? I just put the main numbers for your review here but see them for yourself at the link below.
Tom Ford Interim Retirement Administrator Lila E. Deeds – Interim Chief Executive Officer
Date: July 27, 2011
Subject: Monthly Status Report Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement System
Portfolio Status Report (Performance Net of Fees)
Period Ending June 30, 2011 Total Fund Fiscal YTD Comparison
Market Value June 30, 2010 Market Value June 30, 2011 Total Fund
Change in Market Value% YTD Change Market Value%
………………+ 349,888,385 …………21.72%
This means that over the last two years our County pension has earned over half a billion dollars. So is a weak economy hurting our pension funds?
Often my concerns come from simple observations that just don’t seem to make sense to me so I leave you with this. No matter who’s California pension audit I review the yearly benefits paid out almost always match’s the normal yearly contributions paid in. Over 70 years is that mathematically possible? I will get back to that in the future.
S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!